For many military dads, the very first glimpse of their children happens on a pier, in a dark parking lot next to a bus, or on a sunny tarmac. While serving their country overseas, they’ve watched the birth and growth of their newborn from afar– through Skype sessions, well-thumbed photographs in care packages, hand print drawings, and scribbled artwork.
Here are 17 of these first precious moments as fathers meet their sons and daughters after their long deployments:
1. A sailor is all smiles as he meets his newborn daughter.
2. Blue creating a backdrop against vibrant pink, this Coastie cradles his daughter carefully.
3. Ignoring the hubub around him, this baby relaxes in his mother’s arms during his father’s homecoming.
4. A husband and wife share a joyful moment with their newborn as a family of three.
5. This family finds a quiet moment of reflection during homecoming.
6. A sailor feeds his bundled child for the first time.
7. This tiny military kid welcomes home her dad for the very first time.
8. Reunited at last, this family enjoys a moment of happiness together.
9. Unable to contain his excitement, this naval officer shows off his baby to his shipmates.
10. After a year-long deployment, this father shares a first kiss with his daughter.
11. A tiny sailor meets a much larger one.
12. Unable to hold back her emotions, a military spouse cries as her husband holds their child for the first time.
13. This family takes a moment for a photo and a moment of bonding.
14. With a fist raised into the air, this baby enjoys a quiet moment with Dad.
15. With the perfect photo background and outfit, this military baby meets her Dad in style.
16. Even a late-night or early-morning homecoming can’t dampen the spirits of this family.
17. A smile lights up this father’s face as he gazes at his daughter.